Power Banks

Pokemon Go boost for power banks

Since the launch of the game, retailers are seeing a surge in sales of the portable charger

A Pokemon Go trainer playing the game while having her smartphone hooked to a power bank.
A Pokemon Go trainer playing the game while having her smartphone hooked to a power bank.ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

The arrival of Pokemon Go here has seen local gamers getting swept up in the craze of chasing virtual monsters with their phones. It has also been a boon for retailers that sell power banks.

Retailers here like Samsung, Challenger and Courts are seeing a surge in their sales of power banks since the game's launch more than three weeks ago.

According to Samsung, its local Samsung Experience Stores have seen their power-bank sales increasing by 20 per cent after the game's launch, while technology retailer Challenger saw sales of power banks this month more than doubled compared with August last year.

"We see players being very willing to spend a lot more on higher-capacity power banks to ensure they can play for hours with no disruption," said Ms Loo Pei Fen, Challenger's chief marketing officer.

The energy-sapping nature of this augmented-reality (AR) mobile game has made carrying a power bank a necessity for many gamers. The constant downloading of data, syncing to GPS signals, using camera for AR, as well as the frequent switching between Pokemon Go and apps used to find Pokemon, like Go Radar, can drain a smartphone's battery very quickly.

Student development officer Chew Xuan Hui, 29, bought an Asus 10,400mAh power bank because he wanted to make sure he has enough battery power "to catch 'em all!" - the Pokemon's franchise slogan.

Ms Tarin Teo bought three Xiaomi power banks in different capacities, from 5,000mAh to 16,000mAh, for her Pokemon hunts.

"I supposed this is the #fomo (fear of missing out) that we are facing these days," said the 25-year-old lifestyle writer, who chooses the appropriate power bank to take along depending on the location where she is going to catch the Pokemon.

Mr Stan Kim, chief executive officer of Courts Singapore, revealed that sales of power banks at Courts' outlets almost tripled in the period from Pokemon's arrival here (on Aug 6) to Aug 22, compared with the same period last month.

"We are not surprised that this is due to the Pokemon Go effect, as well as the long National Day weekend earlier in the month," he said.

Popular power bank models at Courts are usually the 10,000mAh version with dual USB ports and a slim-form factor for portability.

Some Pokemon Go players are still thinking about which power bank to buy.

Communication specialist Chung Weifang, 33, is among them. "Nothing is worse than having lots of rare Pokemon around you but a flat phone battery," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2016, with the headline 'Pokemon Go boost for power banks'. Subscribe